Weather Forecast


UND's Mark Kennedy names strategic planning committee

Mark Kennedy addresses people after being selected as the next President of the University of North Dakota Tuesday at the Gorecki alumni center. Jesse Trelstad/ Grand Forks Herald

UND President Mark Kennedy announced Wednesday the group of people who will help lead the university through its strategic planning process.

The committee, which will meet for the first time Thursday, is made up of the president's cabinet, deans from the university's schools, students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members.

The group's goal is to identify the strengths of the university, build on those strengths and define a clear vision of how UND should set itself up for the future.

"By doing this we want to see what our strengths are," said Peter Johnson, a spokesman for the university, who will serve on the committee. "A university can't do everything and do it well, so we want to, among other things, identify the areas we want to excel in."

The strategic planning process is separate from the university's effort to trim its budget as mandated by North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple in the wake of an expected state budget shortfall.

For the process, Kennedy tapped Laurie Betting, interim vice president for student affairs, and Dana Harsell, chairman of the University Senate, as co-chairs for defining and leading the strategic process.

The Strategic Planning Committee's first meeting is meant to be a "conversation starter," by which the group will collaboratively develop a rough outline of elements for a strategic plan, according to an email sent Wednesday to UND's campus. The committee members will then bring what they discuss to the campus and larger community through a range of venues to get feedback and guidance for evolving this into the campus' strategic plan.

"We would like to reiterate that the planning process will be collaborative," Betting and Harsell wrote in an email to campus. "We want a strategic plan that the whole campus can enthusiastically support, one that will prove useful for creating a stronger UND with a clearer path into a brighter future."

The group will have a preliminary outline by December and a complete plan by May 2017. A website on the plan will launch in early September.

This type of strategic planning is typical for a university to do every so often, Johnson said. UND last completed this process in 2005, and a strategic plan, such as this one, is meant to gauge where the university is at now and where it wants to go in the future.

Earlier this month, Kennedy announced the launch of the strategic planning process with Betting and Harsell leading the committee.

At the beginning of his presidency, Kennedy said his two overarching goals were to have about five metrics for what it means for UND to be the premier university in the region and roughly three areas where the school will drive research.

Before taking office July 1, Kennedy said he wanted to spend his first 90 days listening to university stakeholders, so he could better understand the school, and then move into strategic planning so he can make the case why the state should invest in UND, as well as how the school should direct the resources it gets from the state during the next legislative session.

"Ultimately, this needs to not be my plan, but the university's plan," Kennedy said in an interview earlier this month.

The following people will serve on the Strategic Planning Committee:

President's Cabinet (which also serves as the Steering Committee):

Laurie Betting, Interim Vice President for Student Affairs, Co-Chair of the Strategic Planning Committee

Brandon Beyer, Student Government President

Patricia Bohnet, Executive Assistant to the President

Alice Brekke, Vice President for Finance & Operations

Tom DiLorenzo, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

Brian Faison, Director of Athletics

Angelique Foster, Associate Executive Assistant to the President

Dana Harsell, Chair of University Senate, Co-Chair of the Strategic Planning Committee

Pam Henderson, President of Staff Senate

Peter Johnson, Interim Vice President for University & Public Affairs

Grant McGimpsey, Vice President for Research & Economic Development and Dean of the School of Graduate Studies

Becky Weaver-Hightower, Past Chair of University Senate

Joshua Wynne, Vice President for Health Affairs and Dean of the School of Medicine & Health Sciences

DeAnna Carlson Zink, CEO of the UND Alumni Association & Foundation


Hesham El-Rewini, Dean of the College of Engineering & Mines

Cara Halgren, Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students

Cindy Juntunen, Interim Dean of the College of Education & Human Development

Paul Lindseth, Dean of the John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences

Grant McGimpsey, Vice President for Research & Economic Development and Dean of the School of Graduate Studies

Kathryn Rand, Dean of the Law School

Gayle Roux, Dean of the College of Nursing & Professional Disciplines

Debbie Storrs, Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences

Stephanie Walker, Dean of Libraries & Information Resources

Margaret Williams, Dean of the College of Business & Public Administration

Joshua Wynne, Vice President for Health Affairs and Dean of the School of Medicine & Health Sciences

Students, selected by Student Government:

Blake Andert, Student Government Vice President

Abbie Christiansen, Student Government Projects Coordinator

Shawn McHale, Association of Residence Halls President

Roy Roach, Multicultural Programs & Services Graduate Services Assistant

Faculty, selected by University Senate:

Melissa Gjellstad, College of Arts & Sciences

Duane Helleloid, College of Business & Public Administration

Jeffrey Holm, College of Arts & Sciences

Soizik Laguette, John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences

Michael Mann, College of Engineering & Mines

Thomas Mohr, School of Medicine & Health Sciences

Brad Myers, School of Law

David Nguyen, College of Education & Human Development

Maridee Shogren, College of Nursing & Professional Disciplines

Staff, selected by Staff Senate:

Tiffany Ford, Associate State Director, North Dakota Small Business Development Center

Carrie Herrig, Learning & Development Coordinator, Human Resources

Derek Sporbert, TRIO Programs Director, TRIO Programs

Jason Trainer, Director of Admissions

Chris Zygarlicke, Associate Vice President for Strategic Projects and University Relations, Energy & Environmental Research Center

Alumni, selected by the Alumni Association & Foundation:

Hal Gershman, Grand Forks business and community leader

Others, selected by the co-chairs with input from members of the Steering Committee:

Stacey Borboa-Peterson, Graduate Student and Director of Multicultural Programs & Services

Scott Correll, Registrar

Todd Feland, Grand Forks City Administrator

Sol Jensen, Assistant Vice President for Enrollment Services

Sandra Mitchell, Associate Vice President for Diversity & Inclusion

Wade Rupard

Wade Rupard is a reporter for The Grand Forks Herald. Rupard is a 2014 graduate of the Missouri School of Journalism and is originally from Normal, Ill. 

(701) 780-1122